U.S. economy adds 145,000 jobs in December, below analysts' expectations

Brendan Morrow

The U.S. economy added 145,000 jobs in December, according to Friday's jobs report that came in a bit below analysts' expectations.

Economists had expected closer to 160,000 jobs to be added following a gain of 256,000 in November, The New York Times reports. For this reason, CNBC characterized Friday's report as "disappointing," writing that the "U.S. jobs market ended 2019 on a sour note." Still, the unemployment rate remained at 3.5 percent, a 50-year low.

CNBC notes December was "the first time that wage gains were below 3 percent on a year-over-year basis since July 2018," and looking at payroll increases for the year, 2019 was the "slowest year for job creation since 2011."

While December's growth is significantly down from November's, The Washington Post notes that the latter report's figures "also accounted for thousands of General Motors workers who returned to the workforce after a lengthy strike."

CNN's Christine Romans described Friday's jobs report as a "a solid finish to the year, but not sizzling," noting that although the unemployment rate is "really low," wages only grew 2.9 percent. "One wonders" about this low gain, Romans noted, calling that "the riddle of this recovery."

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